Reviewed by Heather C
Title: The Tutor
Author: Bonnie Dee
Heroes: Graham Cowrie & Sir Richard Allinson
Genre: MM Historical Romance
Length: 178 pages
Publisher: Bonnie Dee
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Gothic romance with a twist.
Elements of The Sound of Music, The Enchanted Garden, Jane Eyre, and “true” ghost hunting shows make this story feel familiar. Gay love makes it unique.
Seeing an ad for a position at a Yorkshire estate, typesetter Graham Cowrie decides to make an upward career move by passing himself off as a tutor. How hard can it be to teach a few subjects to a pair of nine-year-old boys? But on his arrival at the ancient house, he finds the staff creepy, the twins odd, and the widowed master temporarily absent.
His first meeting with brooding, stern, but oh-so-attractive, Sir Richard doesn’t go well, but with no other prospects vying for the teaching position, Graham manages to keep it. His mission soon becomes clear, break down the walls of reserve both father and sons have erected and attempt to bridge the gap between them.
But strange sounds, sights and experiences keep Graham on edge until he finally admits the Hall is haunted by two entities with very different agendas. Graham works to appease one and combat the other while protecting the broken family he’s grown to care for.
“I was Graham Cowrie, tutor extraordinaire and now Sherlock Holmes of the north.”
It has been several months since a book has grabbed my attention as quickly as The Tutor…I never even finished the blurb when I knew I needed to read this book as soon as possible.
Throughout all my years of reading, I’ve always had a fondness for haunted house stories. The creepier the better. There was nothing I loved more than sitting in my darkened house with a low lit lamp and a book that could scare the breath out of me anytime I heard a tiny creak break the silence. Even though I’ve upgraded to a self-lit Kindle, The Tutor did not disappoint!
I’m just going to jump right into my thoughts; the blurb is available for you to peruse at your leisure…or just go in blind like I (mostly) did.
The Characters: The story is told completely in first person from Graham’s POV and I immediately connected to him and his voice. I loved his outlandish imagination and how he would think up fully developed scenarios-slash-fantasies and play them out in his mind. But then the doubt and insecurities would set in and he would have to come back to the here and now. As for Richard? Well, he was a tougher nut to crack. I actually knew more about his twin sons, Clive and Whitney, long before Richard started revealing himself. But I totally fell for his tortured soul and misplaced guilt. Then there Tom and the other peculiar members of the house staff. And most importantly, the ominous presences (yes, plural) that had taken up residence in Allinson Hall.
The Romance: This is slow burn with a capital S! Some readers may even consider the romance too slow. I on the other hand, LOVE when the characters fight their attraction for each other until it culminates into a passionate and heated encounter…which is exactly what happens between Graham and Richard. Is it dirty? Yes. Is it kinky? It could have been kinkier. But I definitely felt the connection between them and I actually wished for a bit more “page time” of them together.
The Haunting: This story definitely gets points for eeriness and I admit it had me looking around the room and over my shoulder on more than one occasion. I could sometimes feel that heavy weight of darkness and gloom that would come over Graham when he was exploring around the halls. Unfortunately, the haunting plot falls a bit short on originality and into the realm of predictability. I kept hoping for that one big twist that never came.
In the End: I loved this book and almost everything about it. It fits perfectly to my tastes in what I love to see in a “gothic romance with a gay twist”.
I want more books like this!!
Overall Impression: I Loved It
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*